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Yeshua Explored

More on the Jewish Jesus

todayMarch 12, 2014 12

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Jesus the Rabbi came to teach us, to show us how to live. Most of his teachings are apparent to all and speak to us across the centuries and over the cultural gap between his 1st Century agricultural setting and our 21st Century technological age. Key messages from the heart of God still speak to us and will continue to do so until he returns. They undergird our laws and moral framework and the fact that these are currently crumbling in our society is totally the fault of the ineffectiveness of our current Church, rather than the one who taught us in the first place. Yet there are subtleties to much of his teachings that have been lost in translation and there is still more we can learn from him and about him by picking up the tools to unlock these nuances. Hopefully you have now learnt enough to want to go deeper. .

Then there was the title that Jesus preferred above all, Bar Anash, Son of Man. This identified his supernatural mission, his redemptive purposes and foretaste of his Second Coming that he frequently referred to. He also identified himself as the Son of God, a title quite familiar to Satan and his demons and it was this appellation that was to bring his downfall, execution on grounds of blasphemy. Yet it was the key to our salvation and this was explained.

The Jewish religious leadership had a problem. Jesus had come and not only fulfilled the scriptures but, after his ascension, other signs were provided to remind them of what they had missed. Rather than accept their mistake they devised a cunning plan to explain away those scriptures that Jesus seemed to have fulfilled. They invented the Messiah, Son of Joseph, Mashiach ben Yosef, as a stop-gap Saviour and created a mysterious set of scenarios to explain his coming appearance. Yet, by identifying this figure with the Biblical figure of Joseph, all they have managed to do is remind us of the similarities this son of Jacob had with Jesus himself.

But it went further and, in order to ensure that their people would not be enticed into following Jesus, the early Rabbis filled the pages of the Talmud, their key religious manual, with negative images of Jesus, known disrespectfully as Yeshu HaNotzri, with some of the most appalling falsehoods. It led to further persecutions at the hands of the Church and the Talmud managed to get itself banned, burned and doctored. It was a war for the hearts and the minds of the Jews and the biggest casualty of the whole sorry episode was the truth itself.

Yet there were also flesh-and-blood casualties, but their fate was sealed a long time before. Many sneer at the Jewish people for their “chosen-ness”, perhaps jealous of their accomplishments in a whole swathe of fields and disciplines, or perhaps jealous of their centrality in the World’s stage, whether through the Holocaust, the State of Israel or through the numerous contrived conspiracies speaking of global Jewish domination! What most people fail to realise is that the Jewish people have indeed been chosen, but it’s not a choice that they welcome. It’s hard to find much joy in being reviled and persecuted. In fact, if the true nature of their divine selection was ever revealed, most Jews would be struck dumb with shock.

Consider this. Without the crucifixion (at the hands of the Romans), there would be no substitutionary death and subsequent victory over death. For your salvation, someone had to sentence Jesus to death, in accordance with the divine legal system developed over a period of time. It was the Jews who were the instruments of God not just for the development of this religious legal system but for the death of the Messiah. Blame God for the death of Jesus, not His representatives. Thanks to the key early disciples, Peter and Paul, both acting again as God’s instruments, the Gentiles were allowed into the Church, bringing the prospect of salvation to the whole World. Both were executed by Gentiles for their efforts. The early Church then developed a vengeful theology that earmarked the Jews a rejected and cursed people, responsible for the death of Jesus and forever abandoned by God. This immediately blocked the path of those Jews for eternal salvation, even as their bodies were battered at the hands of those who expected salvation. How on earth could they put their faith in a Messiah whose followers hated them to death? What an unbelievable irony. But it gets worse.

The Jewish religious leadership reacted to this hatred by making it even more impossible for their own people to find eternal salvation. Through their own religious writings they embarked on a campaign of misinformation, hiding the true face of Jesus and his mission. And still the Church acted as “God’s avengers”, burning and doctoring these writings and stepping up the persecutions even further, as punishment for the (admittedly) negative portrait of Jesus painted in the pages of the Talmud. The effect of this continuous persecution has been a further hardening in the Jewish heart against the name of Jesus. Is there any wonder that modern-day Jews, whatever their religious affiliations, freely accept any world view and corruption, from Hinduism to New Age cults, but mention the name of Jesus and they run a mile. Jews who believe in Jesus are the only Jews who have every obstacle thrown at them if they try to emigrate to Israel. Is there any wonder? It is irrational, it is spiritual, it is a tragedy beyond belief.

Steve Maltz
April 2013

(This is an abridged extract from Steve’s book Jesus Man of Many Names)

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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Yeshua Explored

The Traditions of the Elders

It would not have escaped your notice that many Jewish writings have been referenced in some of these articles. It's probably been a bit confusing, so here is a timeline and a description of all such writings to help you in your understanding. But first, a controversy.Orthodox Judaism states that, when Moses was receiving the Law on Mount Sinai, he first received the written Torah, the words that would become the Holy Scripture of the first five books of the […]

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